September 17th, 2009


links for 2009.09.17

From Ivory Tower to Iron Bars: Scientists Risk Jail Time for Violating Export Laws - this IS an interesting problem at too many levels. For the simplistic freeMarketeers, then of course there should be no barrier to trade, PERIOD. As a right of Holy Dogma. While there is also the problem of which new technologies should be protected from unsafe distribution. But that way also gets complicated by whether or not governments SHOULD be engaged in this type of regulations.

And yes, the real key remains limiting civilian casualties, Military Buying More ‘Non-Lethal’ Gear for A-stan’s Roads. But this still assumes that there is an american mission in A-stan that americans should be supporting.

The distracting benefits of ACORN hysteria - ah yes, what would the nation do without saving on those ACORN funding, which remains the margin of error for estimating the buckage blown, unaccountably, by the various no-bid contracting fiasco's in IranqIstania.

Survivor Bias on the Gridiron - in this case the sports metaphor is about the DJIA - and that as we replace those facets of the DJIA that did not succede with those that did, the number skews towards survivalisms. Not perse a bad idea, merely one worth remember. So that one has a context in which to compare one set of numbers with another.

Why Red-Colored Snow on the Rockies Is a Major Warning Sign That the West Is Drying Up - The era of cheap and plentiful water in the West is over and that's bad news for our sprawling cities, agriculture and ecosystems. What IF we do need to take that into account? What if Tank Girl is not just a graphic novel problem?

Anti-Choice Floridians Peddling Constitutional Amendment to Criminalize Birth Control Pill - well, now this IS going to be fun - The "Personhood Amendment" would define someone as a "person," regardless of age or health status, "from the beginning of the biological development of that human being." - even more so when we can get into the State's Right Argument that the IRS has to grant tax credits for every zygot and blastocyst, whether or not they implant, not to mention the tax credits derivable from a miscarriage.

The asymetric problem

A friend of my recently raised the fear point - what happens when some stateless actor up and does a nuke strike on some american friendly space. { I will expand it to include more than just the USofA } And it struck me that this has always been a part of the matrix.

James Bond put a nice white guy face on bloefeld - and hence the prospect that some stateless actor would generate the NBC ( nuclear, biological, chemical ) attack on the US or it's associates. Which, during the cold war, could well lead to MAD - and the planet killing options.

But now, if a stateless actor were to attack, it would be REALLY HARD to sell it as a MAD event.

Yes, one faces the problem that one is not going to just be able to attack THEM, since, well, stateless actors are NOT from There where THEY live.

So while, gosh, yes, this is scary stuff, it really is less of a threat than it had been a mere 20 years ago. So maybe it is time to help deal with how to get the NeoCons past their trauma that they attacked a CIA asset that was trying to solve this class of problem by working on the proliferation problem. What if we were to work on how to prioritize our angst so that we work with the problems we can solve, and leave the rest to FoxNews?

Red National Socialist Communist DeNationalize Banks?

The House on Thursday passed legislation that would make the biggest changes in federal student loans in decades, driving private banks out of the business and leaving it to an existing federal program to provide that crucial source of college financing.

The bill, passed on a party-line vote of 253-171, would save $87 billion over ten years by abolishing subsidies to banks that have been criticized as excessive, supporters said. Most of the money saved would be channeled to increases in Pell Grants for low-income students.

``The choice before us is clear,'' said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), lead sponsor of the bill. ``We can either keep sending these subsidies to banks, or we can start sending them directly to students.''

[ cf House passes big change in college loan program ]
Well, if we stop subsidizing, hence Nationalizing the student loan banking industry, then, uh, isn't that the godless Anti-Socialism of hating, uh, stuff, and thingie?

Makes me wonder what will happen with that part of the ideological wars.

Does this mean that the Obamanites are Nationalizing Students?